Thursday, July 30, 2009

Still No Badcat...

...but in the interests of sibling fairness I thought I'd post evidence of the other haircut.

Climber's Hair 0739

I also found the last ever photo taken of Bertie Wooster, balancing and walking -with ease- on the outside of my car door. Sniff. I'm stopping all the leafletting now. It just makes me feel worse. I've rung vets and shelters, put up posters and leafletted over 300 neighbours. I've visited the RSPCA and the Lost Dogs Home and his name is on the Missing Pets' Registers. But thinking I should do more is kind of killing me; I trudge along local streets worriting and calling and trying not to cry. If he comes home now that would be a flaming miracle but not one that I can really hope to effect. I have to let go. The kids don't want to discuss it, and when we did mention that Bertie could be dead Cherub got distressed and told us not to talk about it because it scared him.

I put up a flier at some not-so-local shops and a woman came up to us and said Oh you're Bertie Wooster's owners, I got your flier and I checked my shed, he's so gorgeous, I hope you find him. And Great Name! as she walked off. Someone else who received a flier in her letterbox rang me, saying straight off she hadn't found him but had wanted to ring me because she had a short-haired oriental cat too, and could imagine how awful it must be to lose him. Slightly strange but also rather touching. The sympathy of strangers. Actually, every time my phone rings with an unknown number I get het up, only to crash afterwards. I hope this isn't apparent to prospective tap students calling me. Same thing with unexpected doorbell rings. We had one last night and I raced to answer it with a thudding heart only to find one of those dudes trying to tempt me into changing my electricity/gas supplier, and I just said straight out I don't want to talk about electricity! and he said Okay and walked off without trying any other angle. Unheard of. Whether I've just discovered the perfect line to repel this sort of caller or whether my inner turmoil was apparent on my face I don't know, but you are welcome to test it yourself next time one of those people comes a-knockin' at your door.

Bertie Wooster_0178

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I got the Missing-Cat-&-My-Baby-Wants-a-Haircut Blues


Adding to my gloom about the missing badcat is the fact that when I told the boys I had a haircut appointment booked for them, the Cherub announced that he no longer wants long hair. Because (a) he doesn't like it blowing in his face when it is windy and (b) he is sick of people that don't know him thinking he's a girl. Further conversation revealed that one or two boys in his class had been teasing him about looking like a girl. Although I don't think he looks like a girl, in my heart I knew this day would come. And of course I will respect his wishes, because I do see that that must be annoying for him.


I'm sure all the grandparents will be relieved but Fixit and I are going to miss his cloud of hair and I assume we're going to get a shock every time we look at him for the next few weeks. All I can do is put my faith in our hairdresser, hoping that she can strike a balance between Boy and Cherub.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

When Do You Give Up Hope?

Bertie Wooster_5496

Bertie Wooster has been missing for nearly 6 nights . This is a very long time in the life of a cat who has never gone AWOL before. Being the hopeful Pollyanna type I just kept thinking he'd be back at any moment. Every time I left the house I would re-enter it expectantly, straining my ears to hear the padding of his little feet and a boisterous meow demanding food NOW! It has finally dawned on me if he could have come home, he would have by now. He's micro-chipped, he's desexed, so I just thought he'd either come back or that someone official would have called me. On Friday I put some notices up at the local shops, and tonight the whole family walked the nearby streets calling him. Tomorrow I'll call some vets and I think I'll do a letterbox drop asking our neighbours to check their sheds or garages for a little locked-in Burmese. I should probably have done this 3 days ago but I just thought he'd be home by now.

He's left such a gap. I miss his purry little presence in the bed at night as he snuggled down next to me, I miss his slightly grumpy presence of an evening as he lay in front of the heater getting so hot he became cranky and flicked his tale in an irritated manner before finally dragging himself up and re-settling on one of our laps. I even miss the really annoying way he would trip me up and deafen me in the kitchen whilst I cooked because he thought I ought to attend to his stomach before those of the humans.

The boys are okay so far, they're fleetingly sad if they think about it but it's only really tonight that the he might never come back scenario has been raised, rather bluntly, by Fixit-the-Pessimist. I suppose he had to do it, given that in my heart of hearts I really thought Bertie would return to us. I don't really know what to say to the boys, to be honest. I hate admitting to myself that we might never see him again, much less to them. I can't even bring myself to pack up the forlorn cat-food dishes, because that might make it real.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Looking Back

Looking Back_0158

I missed the anniversary of my blog again! If I was my blog I'd consider breaking up with me.

When I started this blog 3 years ago, Cherub was a happy little 2 year old, still sleeping in a cot and just moving on from saying lots of words and little sentences to having proper conversations. Climber had just started school and was performing in his first school concert as well as doing his first ever school holiday program - soccer, it was. I only had the one Kiddy Tap Class and a couple of Grown-ups' ones and Fixit was still a Motorbike Mechanic.

One year in to this blogging malarkey and 6 year old Climber had been losing his baby teeth, performed in another school concert and done some more soccer clinics. Cherub was a 3yo, going to creche a couple of times a week but pretty much my constant companion, and a delightful one he was too. I'd started a second Kiddy Tap class, and Fixit was still on the Bikes, but wanting out.

Two years in and Bertie Wooster had joined the family (although he's currently been AWOL for 2 nights and we are missing him, send Go Home Vibes to him, won't you please), Cherub was a big 4 year old Kinder Kid who could ride a bike with trainer wheels, Climber was 7 and in Grade 2, learning to manage his distractability in class and playing soccer all winter instead of just in the holidays. My Tap School was growing nicely and Fixit had changed careers from the Bikes to the Planes, and at this stage it was not going too badly...

This year, Fixit is trying to steer his course through the disaster that is his aircraft apprenticeship and holding out for a transfer in the near future. Meanwhile my Tap School is doing pretty well and the Kiddy Classes are now my best earner instead of the little side project I started so that my boys could learn! My children are 5 and 8, in Prep and Grade 3 respectively, and this feels like the Golden Age! Nappies are a dim, distant memory, and when I look back on the days when they were both small I feel slightly staggered by how much work it used to be: all that cleaning and feeding and wiping and tending and lifting and carrying and soothing, all the live-long day. Someone should tell all those parents with young 'uns that it actually DOES get easier! It really does. Have I told you about how we can sleep-in on Sundays because the children can just look after themselves for a couple of hours? Or how if I need a lemon for dinner I can send one or both of the kids out to the lemon tree to get it for me? How Cherub will always put my pyjamas and slippers away if I ask him? How Climber took on listening to Cherub do his home reader in the car on the way to school because we forgot the night before and wrote the comment in the little book and everything? It's bloody great, I tells ya.

Cherub on the Monkey Bars

The Climber  129

It was funny looking back to the past three July-posts. In one sense things haven't changed much: school concerts, trivia nights, school holidays -and school holiday programs & haircuts. Here it is July again and I am just recovering from the school holidays and about to belatedly get the boys' hair cut (having mucked up their usual school holiday appointment), I'm helping Cherub's class prepare for their first ever school concert, and casting about for people to join the team for the forthcoming Trivia Night, etc etc. But on the other hand, the boys have grown so much and come so far since the day I posted my first blog entry. The changes in them continue to astonish and delight me. Every time I wish I could bottle them now, right now! because they're so lovely, they grow and become even more wonderful. I'm very glad I started this blog, because in a way, I have bottled them.

Vive Blogging! Joyeux Bloggiversaire a moi!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Corner of the Washing Line

Purple on the washing line669

If I am not in a rush I separate the family washing and hang each person's clothes onto the different quadrants of the Hills Hoist, in a bid to help me with my Achilles Heel of Washing, the Putting Away. This way, if I fold as I bring it in, it is pretty much sorted and could be put away in a twinkling of a bedpost.

It's good in theory, anyway.

This shot is fairly typical of how my quarter of the washing line looks, except I didn't show you my underwear. Which is mostly Melbourne-black, by the way; if you want pure cotton underwear you have to forgo pretty or colourful undies.

Friday, July 17, 2009

When Too Much Fun is Barely Enough.

In a word, socialising. That's what I've been doing this week. Catching up with people I like-a-lot. My house is a mess, and I look like I need a good night's sleep but my goodness I've had a good time.

Saturday night was the Mothers Group tribe; Jenny and Astrid and husbands and children and pizza and Vietnamese and sticky date cake and lots of fun. Our kids have known each other since the firstborns were 6 weeks old and they have this deep love for each other, borne partly from having known each other all their lives and partly from them being a really nice bunch of children. They pretty much left the adults to a night of talking and laughing whilst they ranged through Astrid's house, playing their little hearts out: hide-n-seek, trampoline and some nutty school game they've invented where Astrid's oldest is the teacher, the Climber is the Berserk Principal who falls over a lot and the rest of them are the giggling students. That one always cracks me up.

Sunday night we had our ex-next-door-neighbours over. As soon as the doorbell rang and their 3 children poured in there was laughter and joyousness, and we just knew it was going to be a good night. The kids played and played, it felt like the good old days when they lived next door and the kids called us their second home. They played hide-n-seek, natch, it's their favourite, trampoline, lego, as well as some dressing up from the younger contingent - we definitely saw Buzz Lightyear and Superman-girl flit past on important super-missions shadowed by a little redhead in a dinosaur sunvisor. Meanwhile the adults drank the beer that turned out to be cider, got the barbeque happening and switched on the radio to discover that although we are too old to listen to Triple J (youth radio with alternative/indi music emphasis) on a daily basis we can definitely rock out to the Hottest 100 Ever on Triple J, seeing as it was pretty much songs from Life Before Children. Fifteen years later, and I'm still partying on to Smells Like Teen Spirit, oh the irony. In fact, I turned it up so loud that some of the kids at first covered their ears in protest, but then as the song grew on them we saw some little heads start to rock in rhythm. I pulled some hostessy goodness out of my swag and made scalloped potatoes/potato gratin (depending on where you're from) and a sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Unfortunately the gratin spilled over into the oven which set off the smoke alarms and then because I am slack and didn't clean it up, I smoked up the house the next time I cooked and all that smoke is not good for post-bronchitis lungs and I've been coughing like a grampus ever since. This is why I had to clean the oven yesterday, which, to my way of thinking, is a fairly unsatisfying job because no-one except you knows you've cleaned something.

On Wednesday night the Prep T Gang reunited for a night out at Hellenic Republic, a local restaurant owned by George Calombaris, one of the hosts on Masterchef (highly popular TV show, aka So You Think You Can Cook). I've become increasingly addicted to this show despite missing the early days of it and so has the Climber. The Cherub 'watches' too, but he is still in the deeply-suspicious-about-new-food stage and therefore not very interested in the cooking side of things. But the Climber has started to pore over cookbooks, and has undertaken some cooking ventures under his own steam, and was heard to comment that Julie's 'puddle-pie' did not have very good presentation. So I was very excited to visit the Masterchef restaurant - if you're thinking of going you need to book ahead, and for the record, the food was great and not expensive and the dish of the night was the saganaki with preserved figs. Oh my god, yum!- and all of our Masterchef addicted Grade 3 children were spectacularly jealous of us.

Hellenic Republic_0160

As well they should be.

Friday, July 10, 2009


jump! climber 140

Fixit and I signed our wills today and lodged them with the solicitor. We've been grown-ups for more than half our lives now, it seemed the time was right. The fact that Fixit came perilously close to dying from the Pulmonary Embolisms nearly 6 years ago might have spurred us on ... well... hardly at all, really. I suppose what that little episode did was put will-making on the agenda. Because, before then, wills were for people who (a) were old, and -more significantly- (b) had money and/or possessions to leave. Well, we're technically in our primes and we still haven't got a lot to leave but we do now have someone to leave it to. Even so, we might not have got around to it had we not bid for a Will Preparation Service as part of last year's Creche Auction & Trivia Night. And just under a year since we won the bidding on that item, we have finally got the whole thing done. You don't want to rush into this sort of thing.

Prior to getting ours done, the only thing I knew about will-making was gleaned from English detective fiction and involved the deceased having recently sent for their man of business to make last minute changes to the will, which tended to be why they were murdered. Modern day Australian will-making involves documents being mailed back and forth, the occasional phone call and an appearance in a solicitors' premises to sign it in front of witnesses. The good news is that I don't think anyone would bother murdering us, as we've bugger-all to leave. Just the children and a pitiful amount of savings, really. None of it was hard, exactly, but it was all a little confronting, especially the bit where we approached the designated guardians and asked if we could leave our children to them. Oh, and the bit about facing the possibility that we could die.

Anyway. I am now happy with the provisions we've made for the children. My overwhelming desire was to try and give them a home environment which would be as akin to their present one as possible. I also documented my wish to be cremated; the thought of my body being laid to rest out in a far-flung suburb was strangely repellent to me, even though I'd be dead and I wouldn't know. Instead I requested that my ashes be scattered under the jacaranda trees at our favourite park. If I can't be physically there for my boys, then at least they can sit under a purple tree and commune with my memory. (*sniffle*)

So we can die with a clear conscience now. Sort of. But if it's all right with the powers that be, I'd prefer not to, for a very long time, okay?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Coloured Blocks

For the boy who loves playing with ice AND playing with Lego, I found the perfect present.

lego ice blocks 115

A Lego iceblock mould. Sadly, you can't build with them, they are flat on the underside.

In other coloured blocks news, the boys have been having fun with the Cuisenaire Rods.

Cuisenaire Rods

Actually, not just the boys.

Cuisinaire Rods

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Update from the House of Fun.

Star Wars Exhibition at Scienceworks

Hello, it's the School Holidays!

Where's my middle-class checklist? I think I have attended to my childrens' every need.

* The Cherub attended a week-long morning swimming clinic, and the Climber a 2-day basketball one. Gross-motor development and general fitness : Check.

* Both kids attended a 3-hour Lego workshop. Fine motor-skills development and Learning : Check.

* Braved the hordes at Scienceworks where 4,000 people a day are visiting the Star Wars Exhibition. Culture and Brain Skills and Outdoor Play : Check.

(I have far more photos of the Cherub from this expedition because he clung to my hand and dragged me round. Every so often we'd come across the Climber, doing his own thing like mad with all the interactive stuff. He consented to come over to the Jedi/Sith dudes so I could borrow a light-sabre and take his photo. Meanwhile, the Cherub posed in front of every major character he could find. )

*Plenty of rest and relaxation (aka slouching round the house.) Check, check, double-check.

Star Wars Exhibition at Scienceworks

Star Wars Exhibition at Scienceworks

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Foot in the Door.

awards night 33

Fixit had the appointment with the a Rival Workplace's Apprentice Wrangler on Wednesday. I wish I could say he came home with a job offer but real life doesn't always work like that. He had a very good talk with the guy and it sounds like there are vague possibilities. I would have liked concrete, but there you go. There was nothing concrete. Word has it that some of the Rival Workplace's current intake are failing their schooling, in which case Mister "Outstanding Apprentice" Fixit would be a very good addition to their crew, if not a replacement. However. I suspect ousting a dud apprentice and replacing him or her with a very good one would require a lot of paperwork and protocol, which of course means that nothing will happen in a hurry. This, when you are Instant Gratification Girl like I am, is very frustrating. The best I think we can hope for is the 2010 intake and the R.W.A.W. did tell Fixit to submit for that. I'd cross my fingers but I'll be needing to use them between now and then.